Diabetes

Improving diabetes care is focus of new NHS dossier

Providing ‘optimal diabetes’ care is the focus of a new blueprint which has been published by NHS England.

The document, The NHS RightCare Pathway: Diabetes, has been developed in a bid to improve diabetes care and reduce variation among different areas across England.

A range of stakeholders collaborated on the project, including the National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, Jonathan Valabhji and Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes, Partha Kar.

The report identifies seven priority areas, including type 2 diabetes prevention, diagnosis, structured education, care planning, foot care, inpatient safety and a specialist type 1 diabetes service.

Dr Kar said: “The theme that runs throughout is the need to reduce variation, base interventions on evidence and gain maximal benefit, clinically as well as on a financial basis.

“The strategy also aligns with the recent release of the transformation fund, thereby showing the importance of delivery of these seven priorities highlighted. These are exciting times for diabetes care.

“Only time will tell how successful these priorities are but it certainly helps set the tone for areas to focus on. The challenge now is for all systems to dovetail into delivering these seven priorities with support from all stakeholders including clinical networks, the NHS RightCare team and of course the NHS England diabetes team.”

The pathway provides comparisons among diabetes services which have been shown to have better health outcomes and have been identified as examples of good practice.

NHS England said the pathway contains “evidence of the opportunity to reduce variation and improve outcomes and the key evidence-based interventions which the system should focus on for greatest improvement”.

The organisation is now urging decision makers within the health service to use the pathway guidance to base local improvement discussions around.

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Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common long-term health conditions
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common long-term health conditions

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison.

This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

In recent years, it has become apparent that many people with type 2 diabetes are able to reverse diabetes through methods including low-carb diets, very-low-calorie diets and exercise.

For guidance on healthy eating to improve blood glucose levels and weight and to fight back against insulin resistance, join the Low Carb Program.

Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin is not used effectively by the cells in your body. Insulin is needed for cells to take in glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and convert it into energy.

Ineffective use of insulin results in the body becoming resistant to insulin – also known as insulin resistance, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to rise (hyperglycemia).

In advanced stages, type 2 diabetes may cause damage to insulin producing cells in the pancreas, leading to insufficient insulin production for your body’s needs.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors

A number of factors can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

These include:

The likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes is also influenced by genetics and environmental factors. For example, research shows that:

  • If either parent has type 2 diabetes, the…